And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth. — Job 29:17
The most shocking thing about the rape case in Steubenville, Ohio was not that two young men raped a 16 year old girl who was so drunk she blacked out. Sadly, the fact that men sexually assault and rape women and girls is not exactly new, nor is it in any way uncommon. What was shocking was that this crime was committed in public with many other teenagers watching and laughing at her, while taking pictures and video on their smartphones and posting it to social media websites in addition to sending it around.
Why did no one intervene and say “no” to this act? Did none of the young men at the party think of their sisters in that position? Did none of the young women at the party not think of themselves in that position? It would have been incredibly shameful for the young men at the party to be silent (or encourage it) while a young woman stands “no” to this abomination, but one would think that someone would have felt a pang of conscience.
The fact that the two rapists got off so easy is infuriating.They got at least a year in juvenile hall, but they should have been charged as adults. I have been 16 years old, and I knew that sexually assaulting and publicly humiliating a teenage girl was an evil thing to do. Charging them as juveniles instead of as adults only enhances the perception that these young men got off easy because they are football players. And while those who stand and watched may be charged, how much will they actually be punished? When you hand out such a light punishment for the actual rapists, how can you justify harsher punishments for the spectators?
I am not sure that parents or school officials should be charged in relation to the rape, unless it can be shown that they attempted to cover it up after the fact. But one has to ask – where were the parents that night? Even if no crime had been committed, you have a large number of teenagers getting wasted drunk at several parties around town. You cannot expect me to believe the parents did not know what was going on. Their refusal to control their offspring – something that almost certainly dates back to when they were toddlers – is disgusting and shows how much they truly hate their children.
There is a lot wrong with this case: The spectators who laughed and took pictures during a violent crime, the worship of football that led these young men to believe they could get away with a felony, and the complete and total breakdown of parental discipline that allowed the environment for this assault to take place. Parents who refuse to say “no” to their children do not shelter those children from the consequences of their action. Instead, they only ensure that the lack of loving corrective discipline will eventually be replaced with much stronger sanctions from the civil magistrate. This is a lesson for all parents – train your children to be respectable and responsible.